Sunday, December 30, 2007

Have you ever done THIS?

On day 7 of our wintery adventure, we went to Zim's Hot Springs just outside of New Meadows, Idaho. Notice the snow in the background. Yes, it was snowing (hard!) while we were in the pool, but at a toasty 104 degrees, the water was divine! The kids had a ball because even short Molly could touch the bottom.

That was day 7.

Much of our trip has been dictated by Grayson's "list" of desired activities. And believe me, he's keeping track of what we've done and what we haven't! Here's a sampling of what we've checked off so far:

Day 5: Snowmobiling (check.)

Grayson with his cousins Ben and Bryan.

Day 6: Skiing at Brundage Mountain (check.)

It was Grayson's first time on skis, a day that Dave and I had been looking forward to since we both grew up on the slopes.

Practicing the "snowplow".

On the chairlift. The "funnest" part, according to Grayson.

He's doing it!

Surprise, surprise...he wasn't a big fan of the falling.

For his first time, we thought that he did great! This picture, however, sums up Grayson's feelings about the day. :) Maybe next year we'll see a smile.

We only have a day and a half left and still a couple of big things to check off the "list"! Sledding today and skating tomorrow. Perhaps the igloo will have to wait for another year. (We can only hope.)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Amid a flurry of wrapping paper and bows, toy parts and pieces galore, and more family than we can count, here's the prayer that my boy said for all of us before dinner last night on Christmas Eve:

"Dear God, thank you that we get to be at Grandma and Papa's......and thank you that it's Christmas and we get to learn more about Jesus being born."

Sweet Grayson, you deserve a present or 2! (maybe a dozen or more would be more accurate)

Miss Molly quite enjoyed herself, too!
Got snow?
Is one picture in our new jammies too much to ask???

For those of you...

...who were dreaming of a white Christmas:

You may live vicariously through us. :)

We've had a fun-filled couple of days in McCall so far (minus the fact that we think sweet Molly might be allergic to my parents' 2 cats...poor stuffed up girl). All of us enjoyed playing in the snow on Monday.

What a production!

But well worth the work.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Wow, what a week! So fun, but SO busy! Good thing Friday is here because we are all exhausted, and, go figure, the Ryan children seem to have caught yet ANOTHER cold!!! Ggrrr. Here's hoping for quick recoveries though because Sunday will find us traveling to McCall, Idaho to spend the holidays with family.

Here are some of the highlights from this past week. Unfortunately, there were an equal number of lowlights (school related) but those are best forgotten, which thankfully is easy for me to do when I look at these precious pictures of my kids and remember the things that truly matter:

Monday we had a playgroup party and gift exchange. Grayson has been in a playgroup since about 6 weeks of age. We used to meet religiously once a week (when life moved at a little slower pace before the second and third babies arrived). Now it's hit and miss, but the boys remain tight as ever, especially Grayson, Garrett, Isaac, and James. And there are many "new" friends now, too, since we have merged together with the "older sibling" playgroup. And then you can't forget all of the "babies" who have arrived over the last couple of years. All in all, I think I counted 17 kids at Sarri's house on Monday!!! Crazy, but if you could have heard the giggles, the laughter, the squeals of delight--then you wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else either (okay, MAYBE the dads would argue otherwise--they seemed a bit overwhelmed--but hey, they got pizza out of the deal).

Imagine the scene with 17 kids decorating sugar cookies!
And Molly is NOT one to be left out of the action!
Yes, it's hard to say good-bye after a fun afternoon and evening. Although it looks a little obscene, really Carter is just trying to give sweet Molly a kiss...which apparently she is not enjoying. :)

Wednesday was a triple whammie day--gymnastics, Molly's first trip to the salon (ooohh-la-la), and the Gibson/Ryan annual dinner and gift exchange.

Quite the dismount!
No gymnastics performance is complete without a ribbon routine! Now how much longer the teachers will get Grayson and Garrett to be agreeable to it, Lord only knows! But for now, it's pretty dang cute and a sight to see!

Later in the day it was Molly's turn to be out on the town. Her destination? Radical Rubies Salon. What a pretty girl she is!

She wasn't too sure at first...
Luckily things improved when the cape came off. Phew!
Midway thru she managed to start "hamming" it up a little...once she knew that she had an audience to work with. :) By this point, she had attracted the attention of many of the stylists. Oh yeah, she knows how to work it!
No trip to the salon is complete without a pretty new clip! (the $20 clip, as Dave calls it)

Ta-da and ooohh-la-la!

With a new 'do, it was time to celebrate the season with our best friends, the Gibsons.

Life is good when you've got a new tea set, Batman, Lightning McQueen, some arts and crafts, and a tow truck to share it with...

Tea, anyone?
Okay, just me. :)
Wow, it WAS a busy week! But the fact that I just had over an hour to work on this blog post must mean that things are calming down a little. Phew. As I said, we're off to the snowy mountains of Idaho for the next 10 days. We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a joyous 2008! We're so thankful for our friends near and far and our family that gives us so much love and support. God bless-

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pay It Forward...and a mouse house

If you live here in Oregon, then you probably received your tax "kicker" check in the last couple of weeks. Whew! What a nice surprise, especially with Christmas just around the corner. But I was completely inspired by a newspaper editorial that I read recently. It suggested the idea of using one's "kicker" check to "pay it forward". Now in years past, we have made sure to buy Christmas presents here and there for those less fortunate. Usually we grab a name or 2 from the "Angel Tree" at church, which is a ministry that provides gifts to children of incarcerated parents. But this year both Dave and I felt like we could/should do more, something on a grander scale. While I wish we had the means to do something so grand like feed every starving child who will wake up hungry on Christmas morning, we at least have the means to make the holiday more merry for one family, a whole family. So with the help of the counselor who works at my school, we identified a family with 4 kids that is currently in crisis with little to celebrate. My heart sank when I looked at the kids' wish lists to see that shoes and pants (obviously things they all NEED) were listed above any toys. So while it's still small in relation to the needs of this world, I find comfort and great joy knowing that for THOSE 4 kids, Christmas morning will be a little more grand, with 4 new pairs of shoes and 4 new pairs of pants.

As far as other activities from this past weekend, Dave and Grayson kept themselves busy with a little project. A mouse house. Yes, a mouse house. Apparently the little blue stuffed thing (which truthfully I can't even tell is a mouse) that only comes out of the toy basket once in a blue moon needed its own living quarters. And unfortunately the empty Diet Coke box turned spacious residence (for a mouse anyway) did not fit the bill. Oh no. It HAD to be wood. In fact, Grayson would have preferred brick, but we do know how to play the 'we're the parents, you're the child, we get to decide" card when we need to. So with that decided, the boys got to work. After much cutting and hammering, the project was complete. And oh, I'm sure that Mouse is so pleased. But don't feel bad if you can't really make out the beloved rodent in the picture. He's really that small. But I suppose even the smallest of mice appreciate a good home and some fine cheese (compliments of the pretend food set that goes with the play kitchen). Enjoy little mouse, enjoy.